There was an extremely popular game show where several times each episode the emcee would shout out, “Survey Said!”. Of course, this was just a game, not real life. Now, several times each week I am asked to respond to surveys. They pop up uninvited on the internet and are often veiled advertisements for products and services. They are on the back of receipts from coffee houses and doughnut shops. Is it worth 10 minutes of my time clicking through the doughnut survey for either a free chocolate frosted doughnut or the chance to be entered into the grand prize drawing months later? Hotels I stay at routinely follow-up with e-mail surveys for my feedback. I suspect most folks delete these instantly, which skews the customer base to those who do respond. (Remember, disatisfied folks are often more motivated to give feedback than the rest of us are.) How often do we call a restaurant, a retail store, a bank or even a doctor’s office to offer hosannas about great service?
Medicare recently released fascinating patient-survey data that raises interesting issues. In over 120 hospitals, patients rated the hospitals very highly, despite high death rates for heart disease and pneumonia. So, who do we believe here, the patients or the death rates? I wonder if the patients’ survey results were more optimistic since only the live ones were available to complete them.
Surveys are now serious bu$ine$$. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at MD Whistleblower*